Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Winter Solstice

Talking to a friend yesterday I realized I was different than most because I enjoy this time of year.  Mid winter makes some people rather blue.  I on the other hand find it exciting.  This is my New Year! Not really mine, but truly every agrarian/Pre-Christian society around the planet. 

The solstice is the point when the Earth's axis reaches its ultimate lean and in December the North Pole is pointing as far away from the sun as it will for the year.  Leading to short days and long nights.  In fact the further north you travel you eventually reach a point where the landscape has days and days of night.  A pure hell to some, but I'd lie to say I'm not excited to adventure their some day.

The great part about reaching the solstice is just like reaching the peak, or the ultimate point in anything.  Its the finale; The big show; The point we were all waiting for.

Why the perverse obsession with reaching the depth of winter?

Because the daylight gets longer the very next day.

Immediately we're on the upswing, with days getting longer, and nights shorter.  Native peoples around the world would celebrate this time as New Year, because in reality the sun is re-born.  The new sun is staying out longer and longer.  This change brings life back to the earth.  Sacred earth, which yielded all the natives needed to survive.  Grains to grow, and make bread. Animals feeding on new growth, making them fat and delicious to the natives.

So much to celebrate it's no wonder that native cultures made the winter solstice their key celebration of the year.  In fact it's no wonder that all the modern religions have chosen mid winter for some of their largest celebrations.  Wikipedia, lists 27 different religious celebrations occurring in the month of December.  Many are Christian, but Jewish and Muslim faiths are represented as well.

A fascinating time of year, which should be filled with hope and joy for the new year to come.

Happy Exploring
Scott M

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